The Logitech G Cloud and Shadow are a match made in cloud gaming heaven • TechCrunch
It’s time to accept Cloud gaming is the future of gaming. At least for some people though, Stadia fails. But this group of people is increasing every year.
For the past few weeks I’ve been playing video games on a brand new device – Logitech G Cloud. But my games weren’t actually running on Logitech handheld games. Instead, it relied on a cloud computing service Shade to play those games.
And I have to say that this experience completely changed how I feel about cloud gaming. Playing on Logitech G Cloud with Shadow was mostly a smooth experience. Most importantly, I have had on him It’s fun in the process.
An Android console designed for cloud gaming
But first, what is Logitech G Cloud? While you may be familiar with the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck, you may not have heard of the Logitech G Cloud.
As you can see in the pictures, the Logitech looks familiar if you own a Nintendo Switch a Steam Deck. It’s basically a 7-inch screen surrounded by gamepad-like controls on each side of the screen.
But the comparison stops here because Logitech G Cloud is not designed to run games locally. It runs Android apps and has mid-range specs at best. Instead, the device is set up as a thin client to access cloud gaming services.
This is why it is interesting to see that many players are missing the point. for example, This is a YouTube video The title “The G Stands For Garbage” is mostly mentioned to perform simulation and Android games.
Logitech is a manufacturer of peripheral devices. And Logitech G Cloud should be considered as such. A peripheral device for cloud gaming services. Screen controller. A physical extension of a server located in a data center near you.
Now that we have defined expectations more clearly, I can safely say that Logitech is progressing well on its original premise. The device feels great in your hand thanks to the textured round handle. It feels solid but not too heavy.
In my experience with Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, Rocket League, Hitman 3, or Celeste, the buttons work just fine. Logitech chose the Xbox gamepad layout with A/B/X/Y buttons, analog joysticks, two analog triggers, two bumper buttons and haptic feedback. There are a few extra buttons to go home or launch the Xbox overlay menu when you’re playing a game on Xbox Cloud Gaming.
The Logitech G Cloud weighs 463 grams – about 30% lighter than a Steam Deck and a bit heavier than a Nintendo Switch with Joy-Con controllers included. I’ve had long gaming sessions without having any issues with my hand or forearm.
Under the hood, the Logitech G Cloud features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G on a chip with 4GB of RAM. It has a storage capacity of 64GB that you can expand with a microSD card. Supports WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1. There is also a 3.5 mm headphone jack, stereo speakers, and stereo microphones.
On paper, you get the right amount of computing power to run cloud gaming services, but nothing extra. But it’s a pity that Logitech didn’t choose WiFi 6 over WiFi 5 due to how important latency and internet bandwidth are for cloud gaming.
The USB-C port also does not support video output, which means that you will not be able to connect the device to the TV. The built-in screen resolution is 1080p, which is great, but it doesn’t have a great viewing angle. So you have to be right in front of the machine.
That’s all fine and you tend to forget those details when you start playing. But my biggest complaint about the Logitech G Cloud is that it’s not cheap – it costs $350. There are two ways to think about pricing. Logitech products tend to be pricey and don’t look expensive when you compare the device to mid-range smartphones. But The Nintendo Switch is cheaper, and the Steam Deck is a bit more expensive.
Logitech G Cloud runs Android 11 with a custom launcher co-developed with Tencent. If you just need to see a list of your latest or favorite apps, it will work just fine. But it’s still rough around the edges, especially in the settings and notification menus.
I hope Logitech will ship out software updates to improve the player. If you accidentally purchased a Logitech G Cloud to use as an Android tablet, you can also disable the full custom launcher and get the default Android experience.
Logitech G Cloud comes with a few gaming apps pre-installed, such as Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce Now on the cloud gaming front, Steam Link, and an Xbox app for remote play in case you already own a gaming PC or Xbox console.
You can also install any app you want from Google Play. For example, I installed the Shadow app to access their cloud computing service.
If you are not familiar with Shadow, the French company is working on a cloud computing service for gamers. People can pay a monthly subscription fee to access an integrated computer in a data center near them. It’s an instance of Windows, which means you can install whatever you want.
Shadow starts at $29.99 per month for a device with the equivalent of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage.
On October 26, Shadow . launches advanced composition. For an additional $14.99 a month (for a total of $44.98 a month in total), subscribers get an AMD EPYC 7543P CPU with 4 cores, 8 threads, 16GB of RAM, and a modern GPU, like an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 or equivalent From the GPU in the Nvidia Professional GPU set, or a professional AMD Radeon GPU based on the RDNA 2 architecture (AMD Radeon Pro V620) – I have an Nvidia RTX A4000.
I’ve been trying to configure Shadow’s Power Upgrade and it worked very well. I played Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered or Hitman 3 with super quality settings without any problem. Loading times were great and the visual quality was amazing. For example, I get around 65 fps in Spider-Man.
To be fair, since I’ve been trying Shadow on a Logitech G Cloud, my games run at 1080p. Modern GPUs are designed to run games in 4K or at least 1440p resolution. So a power upgrade might be overkill for the Logitech G Cloud.
By default, Steam automatically starts in Big Picture mode when I open the Shadow app on my Logitech G Cloud. Sure, the big picture hasn’t been updated for ages. But picking a game and playing it works fine.
Other launchers are supported but it is a bit useless. You can pinch your finger to zoom in and flick your finger to simulate a mouse click in Windows. I did not try to install play nightbut this might also be an option if you want to avoid mouse clicks altogether.
Shadow automatically detects the Logitech G Cloud as a generic Xbox-style console – no configuration needed. The only problem is that the controller vibrations don’t work, unfortunately.
At home, I have a stable fiber optic connection and the Shadow data center not too far away. This means I can pick up the Logitech G Cloud, wait 15 seconds or so for Windows to boot into Shadow, launch the game and play.
After just a few minutes, I forgot that the game is not working locally. And when I finished the game after a while, I realized that I had no problem and that cloud games were… just games.
I have also played different games on Nvidia GeForce Now – Trackmania and Disco Elysium for example. In this case, the experience is much smoother than Shadow because you don’t see Windows at all. When you press play, the game starts right away. As long as you play GeForce Now supported games, the experience is great. But the game library is smaller.
Finally, I tried Xbox Cloud Gaming with games like Fortnite and Forza Horizon 5. It worked well, but I found GeForce Now to be more responsive. Moreover, the service is still limited to 720p, which is disappointing.
When it comes to battery life, the Logitech G Cloud does not have a fan and does not heat up. When you play for an hour and a half, it removes 15-20% of your battery. In other words, you don’t have to charge the device every time you put it on. Logitech promises up to 12 hours of cloud gaming.
I tried to take Logitech G Cloud with me on a business trip. The experience was not good. The hotel’s Wi-Fi wasn’t reliable enough for cloud gaming. Wi-Fi in the office was fine, but didn’t feel smooth enough for long gaming sessions. I’m not sure I’ll be traveling with the device in the future because it doesn’t seem designed for these use cases.
The early days of cloud gaming
Cloud gaming is still a relatively niche market. But there are many reasons why I think it’s about to change. People think cloud gaming is all about playing games on the go. But in my experience, it’s a horrible way to experience cloud gaming.
Arguably the most engaged gamers are those who already own a modern gaming PC or console. That’s why they are also early adopters of cloud gaming. But most people play games on their phones. According to market research firm NewzooThere are 2.8 billion gamers on mobile, 1.4 billion on PC and just 0.9 billion on console.
The reason Microsoft, Nvidia, and Sony invest so much money in cloud gaming is that it represents an important growth opportunity. And they need to find a way to lower the barriers to entry into the big gaming-as-a-service titles.
For example, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is one of the biggest releases at the end of 2022. Based on gameplay videosIt must have cost a small fortune to produce it.
Activision wants to make this game accessible to as many players as possible. But gaming PCs are expensive and there are still supply chain issues for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. If Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes ahead, you can be sure that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will be playable on Xbox Cloud Gaming at some point. What.
As for the subscription questioning, yes, cloud games require a subscription payment. Sometimes it’s an all-in-one subscription that includes a game library (Xbox Cloud Gaming), and sometimes it gives you access to the service (GeForce Now). But millions of gamers are already accustomed to paying for Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass, or PlayStation Plus subscriptions.
Cloud gaming will not appeal to everyone. It will not even replace traditional gaming devices. However, in a few years, there may be more video games being played on a cloud gaming service than on a game console.
It’s all about finding the combination that works for you – the right device, the right cloud gaming service, and the right internet connection. And using Shadow on the Logitech G Cloud is definitely a compelling setup.